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5 sensational cases involving armed forces officials

June 25, 2018 19:52 IST

The arrest of an Indian Army Major for allegedly killing a fellow officer’s wife he was “obsessed” with is not the first incident of alleged inappropriate conduct in the history of the country’s armed forces.

In the past, a number of such cases have hogged the limelight at different points in time.

Here are some of such cases.

IMAGE: Accused Army Major Nikhil Rai Handa has been remanded to four days custody, after his arrest in relation with the alleged murder of a fellow army major's wife, in New Delhi. Photograph: Arun Sharma/PTI Photo

>> 1959 Nanavati case

One of the most infamous incidents was the K M Nanavati case. Commander Nanavati, a naval Commander, was tried for the murder of Prem Ahuja, his wife Sylvia’s lover on April 27, 1959. 

Commander Nanavati, accused under Section 302, was initially declared not guilty by a jury, but the verdict was dismissed by the Bombay high court and the case was retried as a bench trial. This was among the last cases to be heard as a jury trial in India. 

Bombay Governor Vijayalakshmi Pandit finally pardoned Nanavati. The case received vast media coverage and inspired several books and films. 

>> 1982 Sikand murder case 

Lieutenant Colonel S J Chaudhary was convicted of murdering a Delhi businessman, 40-year-old Kishan Sikand, on October 2, 1982. He was sentenced to life term by a lower court after facing trial for 26 years. He was acquitted by the high court in 2009 and absolved of the charges of murder. 

According to the prosecution which examined over 70 witnesses during the long trial, the accused was angry over Sikand’s proximity to his estranged wife. The officer’s relations with his wife had gone sour and they were engaged in a matrimonial dispute. 

To eliminate Sikand, the accused had despatched a parcel bomb to his Sunder Nagar residence in Delhi, the prosecution had alleged. The Central Bureau of Investigation, which probed the case, had also alleged that the bomb used in the murder was of Pakistani make and had been seized by the Indian Army following its victory in the 1971 war. 

Later, the high court order was upheld as “plausible, logical and persuasive” by the Supreme Court which also rapped CBI for failing to bring home the guilt of the accused.             

>> 2007 Captain Megha Razdan’s death 

A woman army officer committed suicide at her official residence in Kunjawani army camp in the outskirts of the Jammu in 2007. Captain Megha Razdan of 113 Engineering Regiment (Electrical and Mechanical Engineer) committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling fan by a bed sheet.

She was married to Captain Chaitanya Bhatwadekar of Maharashtra who was dealing with chemical and biological warfare. 

A month after their marriage in September 2006, Megha got to know about Chaitanya’s extra-marital affair with a Pune girl. When Chaitanya came to know about it, he allegedly started ill-treating his wife which allegedly forced her to commit suicide on July 1, 2007.             

>> 2008 Neeraj Grover muder case 

This was one of the most gruesome incidents of killing. A missing complaint was lodged by one Maria Susairaj, a struggling Kannada actress, that her friend Neeraj Grover, a television executive, was missing after leaving her house on May 7, 2008. 

After investigation, the police arrested Susairaj and her fiance Emile Jerome, a naval officer, for killing Grover in a fit of rage after he suspected an affair between the two. 

Jerome and her fiancé had chopped Grover’s body into several pieces before disposing it. Emile was found guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and for destroying evidence. Susairaj was acquitted of the murder charges, but found guilty of destroying evidence. 

Susairaj was awarded a three-year sentence and released after as she spent the time in jail during the case trial. 

>> Army Major’s wife murder 

On Sunday night, 40-year-old Major Nikhil Handa was arrested from Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut for allegedly killing a fellow officer’s wife Shailaja Dwivedi. The police has claimed that he was “obsessed” with his fellow officer’s wife and wanted to marry her. 

The woman’s body was found with her throat slit near the Brar Square in the Delhi Cantonment area. 

Major Handa, who is married with two kids, knew the women and her husband, also a major in the army, since 2015 when both of them were posted in Nagaland. Handa was on Monday sent to four-day police custody by a Delhi court.

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